Arcanes are an incredibly awfuly designed mechanic

I have seen these threads coming up now and then and have refrained from posting complaints about arcane myself because they always end up in people trying to lecture to poster on how to deal with them or how great they are at dealing with them themselves but that is NOT the point, the point is that it is terrible game design.

Let me explain:

GD is an action RPG and an action RPG is supposed to have a certain flow, same applies to a football match or a formula 1 race.

Imagine if a football player gets punished by the referee by suddenly requiring to remove his shoes and then put them back on in the middle of a match.

Or imagine in the middle of a race a formula 1 driver needs to get out of the car himself to open the fuel intake then close it and then continue the race instead of just getting a time penalty and keep racing.

No matter what game a person is playing, A contestant will always end up making a mistake and a game needs to have rules in place to continue with no interruption of the game flow. Reflect mobs, instakill meteors etc are all fine challenges because they don’t interrupt the gameflow, but arcanes do in a manner that is not supposed to be part of an action RPG because it causes the player to do UI management in the middle of a fight.

what makes it even far worse is that new players don’t know anything about it, the first time a got nullified I continued playing for 15 minutes, thinking my build had run into serious issues and went back to town to reorganize my gear. After the 2nd and 3rd time I got suspicious and noticed my auras had gone, but didn’t know how, for a long time I actually thought it was caused by my energy bar hitting 0.

New players will keep coming and run into this issue and they will keep complaining about and they are absolutely 100% right to do so.


I love Arcane heroes, I think there should be more of them.

They introduce a powerful tactical element in GD combat, you have to pay attention to them and a mistake is very costly. Too many builds in GD play by simply tanking all hits.

And there is an obvious counterplay to Arcanes. Watch them carefully, keep your distance, dodge the pink ball, attack them during cooldown.


He’s the OG Nuller, all that came after are lame copycats. :scorv:

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that is like, the most horrible comparison ever

that is literally not how games work IRL, you straight up have game/“flow” interruption, even for tiny things where an umpire makes a decision, players huddle up, someone gets sent to the box etc etc

arcane enemies do not disturb the flow of the game; unless you mishandle them/don’t learn to deal with them proper
this is not a “git gud” shrug off, because it’s a simple task to deal with them, as there are many “non-flow interrupting” counter play, each of them fairly simple not requiring "git gud"practice or skills other than “target the darn purple monster”, or run away
^now please try and tell me how the game “forcing” you to priority target is “game flow interrupting”, it’s not a new or unique concept :man_facepalming:

and obviously no one knows how to deal with them at first, just like no one knows aleks drops a meteor on first encounter, or MQ shotgun bursts you on red aura, that’s the point of a first encounter(s), to experience and gradually learn from it

you don’t like to turn on your buffs? then don’t get dispelled - handle arcane enemies even just half decently and that imaginary “flow interrupt” disappears


Just don’t get hit 4head. Learn to dodge arcanes special attacks/ability. I didn’t got hit by a single one of them in like half a year, and I’m playing this game from like 7 max. Game requires you to have like only 1% skill whatsoever and you still fail to evade pink balls. Your computer is like f* up dude? At least one more thing in the game felt like a challenge till you mastered it.

(Made by Maska)


…and still people keep lecturing on how to deal with arcanes even if I never said that I have issues dealing with them.

you don’t get it at all, the point is that games need to be regulated in manner that interupts the flow as little as possible. Sure there are many things that can happen in a football match that interrupts the flow, but referees are often applauded when they conduct themselves in such a way that the game is interrupted as little as possible.

In this case of an action RPG it is absolutely not necessary to have the game interupted in a manner where the player has to switch back on all his toggle skills, which often requires switch to another bar since they are not all going to fit on the primary bar, adding further annoyance by skills like possession that have a activation animation that causes consecutive buttons to misfire.

I’m absolutely not against getting punishment for getting hit by a purple projectile, but it could easily be handled in such a manner that the game is not interrupted, such as having the skills deactivate for X time and then switch back on automatically.

Maybe you should just read this part of my post again and then explain to me how this is anything like learning that Aleksander’s meteors hurt:


i’m not lecturing you how to deal with them
i’m countering your exaggeration BS about them being “flow interrupts” etc, - and pointing out your comparison was so far out of this world it’s absurd, heck considering the concept of injury time exists exactly because of it makes it a stupid comparison to try and draw on

don’t get hit, and there is no pseudo interruption
and here’s the kicker, imo, even if you do get nullied, there is still absolutely 0 “flow interrupt”
it’s as easy to toggle your buffs back on as it is drinking a hp pot or some resist pharma, heck probably easier since you usually don’t slot pharma elixirs and tonics to your bar; “oh noes, i had to press a couple of buttons while i’m walking :scream:

you don’t disprove anything about first encounters there,
what you do display, is your own entire lack of attention
some first encounters are easier to learn/grasp the mechanics of than others, that’s how XYZ diff enemies work. This is not bad or wrong game design, and asking the players to pay a minimum of attention isn’t either

Then don’t charge headfirst into a situation you can’t get out of or at the first sight of an Arcane move away and play cautiously/focus them first.

On another note, this topic has been beaten to death for so many years now, the last time it came up, Zantai’s response was:

I think they are talking about the treasure room in the Tomb of Heretic where it spawns a bunch of enemies in waves.

I do think claiming facetanking Callagadra somehow means that build will tank anything (or at least the post seems to heavily imply) is silly.


I wonder what the build is like, because as far as I recall tanks mostly need auras for solving damage issues rather than survivability itself which comes mostly from passives, items and procs/circuit breakers. Correct me if I’m wrong. :smile:

Arcanes are really the first enemy that cannot be statwalled over. To some, likely the OP of this thread, this is problematic. Others relish the existence of enemies that require strategic counterplay to handle.

I think a game having some enemies that require a degree of “get good” to handle them is fine. The vast majority of GD’s content can be totally ignored if your gear is good enough, but not so for Arcanes.

Having seen these threads crop up over the years, it’s pretty clear how well designed Arcanes are, that they are serving a role few other entities in GD do in requiring players to adapt to a bad situation. And the instant-nullification of one’s buffs, while definitely tremendously dangerous, is not inherently a death sentence on its own and can still be survived and overcome with further opportunities of counterplay.

Difference being that the flow of a football match or Formula 1 race is not the same flow of GD.


Too often I see the term “bad design” thrown around as a synonym for “I don’t like this”. Let’s talk about what bad design actually is:

Bad design is when an intended solution to a problem does not actually solve the problem. For example, imagine a 4-way intersection with a stop sign that experiences heavy congestion. Now imagine 2 scenarios:

  1. Designers notice a problem: traffic congestion. A traffic circle is installed to reduce congestion, and after installation, traffic congestion is reduced. This is “not bad” design because it solves the problem
  2. Designers notice the same problem and instead replace the stop signs with traffic lights. Traffic congestion is not actually reduced following the light installation, so this is bad design because the problem has not been solved.

So, what about arcane heroes? The problem they are attempting to solve (presumably) is that players rush through content mindlessly without paying attention, and players get so strong that they do not need to care about what enemies do anymore. As Ceno mentioned above, it is an enemy that remains threatening regardless of player stats. Do they force players to pay attention to heroes? Yes, therefore they are not bad design.

Does being “not bad” imply that it is good? No, as other commenters mentioned, nullification can be an extremely confusing and frustrating experience for new players because they don’t know what’s going on or why they died. So it’s a “not bad” design decision, but also far from the best possible solution to the problem. IMO, the nullification mechanic should have been accompanied by a quest in the game where the player is given a task by an NPC to kill an arcane boss, and this would ideally be the first encounter with the mechanic. This way, the NPC could provide a clear explanation of the mechanic to new players.


I will have to agree to disagree here, people use different control plans to play the game, in my case the flow of the game is severely interupted in way that happens nowhere else in the entire game. For you apparently it is not.

I had already played the game for a very long time before running into the first arcane, So I don’t see how I could logically suspect that monsters were actually removing my toggle skills, since that behavior was completely inconsistent with how monsters were operating up to that point. This is nothing else than a way to send casual players down rabbit holes.

No it is exactly the opposite, when a single person post problem X on a forum and a few people react and then it dies out never to return it is mostly nothing, but when a problem pops up over and over with different people each time then it is often a sign there is actually really a problem. Also there is nothing particularly interesting about arcanes in a strategic sense, there are tons of enemies that are way more dangerous than arcanes, being challenged and being annoyed with menial UI management is not the same thing.

That is not what i was trying to say. The point is that the flow is interrupted in a way that feels unnatural for an action RPG, not how it flows. In a race it doesn’t feel good if you have to get out of the car, that is how this feels to me.

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Bad design encompasses far more than just “Not solving a problem”. Including, but not limited to: “Solving the problem in an unintuitive way”, “Solving the problem but causing additional problems”, “Solving the problem at expense to the users” etc.

Arcanes are clearly “Bad design” in the sense that due to engine limitations, they cause needless frustrations to certain players by the way of completely stripping auras (Some of which have cast animations for whatever reason too making them additionally annoying to recast)

However, they’re also clearly “Good design” in that they provide a notable enemy in the game besides bosses/superbosses to encourage players to engage with the content instead of facerolling through everything with their OP characters.

The end result is that there needs to be weighing of how “Bad” and how “Good” they overall are to the game. Seemingly, the devs feel that they are more good than bad (Though apparently a number of players have disagreed hence the repeated posting of threads such as this) which is why they’re still in the game.

This means that Arcanes are simply one of those annoying things that people will have to deal with, among other annoying mechanics that exist (I.e. Reflect, Skill Disruption, Petrify/Freeze/Stun, Life Leech resistance etc). For really, that is their purpose, to be annoying. To provide resistance to the player trying to go through the content. Since if people find games that don’t provide resistance fun, well, Hello Kitty Adventure is that way :point_right:

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Me, not having to deal with this stuff due to being a pet player:



I guess most players go through the stage of “hating Arcanes” at some point. But it passes after a few encounters.
Heck, I’ve only rage quit :grim_dawn: twice so far and once was due to an Arcane. But if they were removed from game now, I would miss them as they improve variety.


Well I don’t like Arcanes at all, so I can tell you I won’t mind one bit if they were to bite the dust.


A room in SR 75+ containing at least one and 1/2 dozen heros (2 of which were arcane) and two Grava spawns, all of which engaged at one time after a poorly timed movement skill, says hi!!

In all truth, what the problem is that once you are nullified your next few seconds usually look like this:

Run away…
While running (however it is you are doing it) you change tabs to the buff tab…
You then begin to click each buff one at a time, typically 5-6…
Than some of them have longer animations than others which means if you are pounding the keyboard at a high rate, some buffs won’t turn on…(a point on this: it is best to bind devotions that save your ass to buffs that don’t have long wind up times, possession is a prime example of a long wind up time).
While doing the last 2 things you are not leeching and you have to continue to run…

I don’t expect it to change nor am I asking, however being hit by it in a swarm of stuff is about as fun as taking a SR 75+ able character into normal and then buffing every monsters hit points to about 900 trillion.


These discussions never go anywhere because they always end up in a stalemate between two groups of people:

  1. The ones who correctly point that having your buffs stripped in an instant and being forced to manually retoggle them is harsh, unintuitive, and tedious.

  2. The ones who think that “being punished with tedium” and “challenge” are the same thing and cannot understand the difference no matter how many time’s it’s explained to them.

I could go into how Arcane heroes take a lot of established underlying assumptions about the how the game works and tosses them out the window in a random and unfun way, and that the desire for powerful enemies that force you to think differently is perfectly fine but doesn’t preclude the need to think about how the gameplay supports what you implement, but when I think about the kind of person it takes to defend arcane heroes in the first place, I realize I’d probably get better results by just dangling my keys in front of their faces and save myself the effort.


Yeah…I do hate how often I get distracted by shiny objects at work.